Gate says TiP players did not receive contracts from org, still owed money

by Daniel Rosen May 10 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games / Riot Games Flickr

Following Riot Games' decision to ban Team Impulse from the NA LCS, the team's support player Austin "Gate" Yu says that the organization still owes him and his teammates bonuses that they were promised.

"We were paid close to the minimum wage after the first two months," Gate told theScore esports. "We were told that we were to be paid monthly, but didn't receive it until the end of March.

"Most of the players were promised more than the minimum required to be paid. Along with food costs and potential bonuses, we haven't seen most of that money."

In their official ruling, Riot stated that Team Impulse failed to pay their players the minimum required compensation in a timely fashion. Riot also determined that TiP failed to provide their players with contracts, something Gate corroborated, and mentioned stretched back to his time with the team during the 2015 NA LCS Summer Split.

"I signed the basic agreement between the org and Riot Games but I was not given a contract directly from the organization," he said. "I was told that it was not going to be an issue but felt a little uneasy about it. It was similar to the situation I had last year when I joined in the middle of the split."

Gate says that the team approached Riot in the last few weeks regarding the payment issues. According to Gate, the team has had trouble getting in touch with their owner and discussed the issues internally before approaching Riot.

As the team's owner is not based in North America, Gate says the roster has had trouble getting in touch him him.

"We approached Riot about less than a month ago with some of these issues mostly regarding our substitute players. Although Team Impulse has a bad track record in the past about pay, they at least tried to fulfill them at times. This year was also a bad year for them regarding pay, but it was hard because they had to also pay the players from last year."

Gate joined Team Impulse in July 2015 as a support substitute, but was moved to starting mid laner after Yu "XiaoWeiXiao" Xian was banned for Elo boosting. Before the beginning of the season, TiP was looking to sell off their LCS spot, but could not find a buyer, leading to field a roster that many saw as sub-par. The team again announced an intention to sell off their LCS spot in April.

For the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split, Gate was intended to be TiP's starting support. However due to visa issues, Gate stood in for Wang "Feng" Xiao-Feng an and Choi "Pirean" Jun-Sik in the top lane and mid lane respectively for the first two weeks of the season.

Gate finished the split with a 2.23 KDA in three positions, mostly playing Bard when he moved back to the support role. TiP placed ninth in the Spring Split with a 5-13 record, and re-qualified for the Summer Split with a 3-1 victory over Apex Gaming in the Summer Promotion Tournament.

Gate is not the first TiP player to speak out about not receiving pay following the ban. On Monday, former substitute Kenneth "Ken" Tang said that he and fellow sub Meng "beibei" Zhang have not recieved their minimum required compensation, and claimed that Gate, Feng and Brandon "Mash" Phan are owed several months of pay.

theScore esports has reached out to Team Impulse for comment on the situation and will update the story when they respond.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Lisa Doan is an associate producer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.